Nashville & Middle Tennessee (TN) Information : CordellHullLake

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Cordell Hull Lake

Cordell Hull Lake, located about 50 miles east of Nashville at Carthage, Tenn., offers visitors opportunities for fishing, hunting, camping, picnicking, boating, water skiing, wakeboarding and hiking.

Cordell Hull Lake features two marinas, 25 boat ramps, 2 fishing docks, 31 recreation areas, 91 picnic sites, 406 camping sites, 10 playgrounds, 7 swimming areas and 38 miles of trails.

There is a visitor’s center at Cordell Hull Lake, which is located just before you get to the lock and dam at 71 Corps Lane. The center is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., except federal holidays.

Vacation homes and other residential real estate are situated near Cordell Hull Lake.


Formed by the damming of the Cumberland River, Cordell Hull Lake, covers approximately 11,960 acres of water and features 381 miles of shoreline. 25,619 acres of surrounding land are included in the site, which is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. There is a lock at the dam.

The lock is 84 feet wide and 400 feet long. The lock holds approximately 17 million gallons of water. It takes approximately 30 minutes to lock a boat through.

The normal pool elevation is 504 feet above mean sea level. The average depth of Cordell Hull Lake is 20 feet. The deepest part of Cordell Hull Lake is in the main river channel, just above the Power House, at approximately 90 feet. The elevation of the lake varies from a winter low of about 499 feet above mean sea level to a summer recreation pool of 504 feet to a flood storage capacity of to a flood storage capacity of 508 feet.

The average surface water temperature of the lake in 2000 was 63 degrees. The warmest temperature, 79 degrees, was recorded in August, and the coolest, 33 degrees, was recorded in December.


Among the regulations for Cordell Hull Lake:

• Camping at Cordell Hull Lake is only permitted in designated camping areas: Defeated Creek Campground, Salt Lick Creek Campground and the Primitive Camping area at the Horse Trail.

• Open campfires are not permitted at Cordell Hull Lake, However, portable grills and chimneys are allowed as is the use of fireplaces. All fires must be attended and extinguished upon leaving. Dead wood may be gathered for use as firewood. Live vegetation may not be cut.

• Day use fees are charged at selected recreation areas: Defeated Creek Day Use Area, Wartrace Creek Day Use Area and Roaring River Day Use Area. These areas offer sand swimming beaches, playgrounds, launching ramps, bathrooms, picnic sites, and picnic shelters. The fees are $2 per vehicle for use of a boat-launching ramp, $1 per person per day for the use of the other facilities. There is a maximum charge of $4 per vehicle per day. Current Golden Age/Access passport holders or individuals possessing the new America the Beautiful Interagency Senior or Access Pass are given a 50% discount on these fees. Day Use Annual Passes are available.

• Hunting is permitted, but Wildlife Management Area general rules and regulations apply. Statewide hunting and trapping seasons apply.

• All Terrain Vehicles are not permitted at Cordell Hull Lake.

• Fireworks are not permitted.

Contact info

Management of the Cordell Hull Lake may be contacted at:

Resource Manager’s Office
Cordell Hull Lake
71 Corps Lane
Carthage, TN 37030-9710
(615) 735-1034

Other lakes in Middle Tennessee

Other large lakes in Middle Tennessee (the region around Nashville) include: Old Hickory Lake, JPercy Priest Lake, Cheatham Lake, Lake Barkley, Kentucky Lake, Center Hill Lake, Dale Hollow Lake, Tims Ford Lake.

Related Nashville-Middle TN topics

Outdoor Recreation

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